Cross-country ski podiums and maybe racing mountain biking again: Sepp Kuss and his own unique trajectory, 'not wanting to feel too much pressure, or have an over-necessity to win'

The Jumbo-Visma rider takes his cycling seriously, but enjoyment takes precedence

Sepp Kuss
(Image credit: Getty)

There is a public perception that has formed around Sepp Kuss, a narrative that seems hard to change. It follows a similar thought, accepting his talent as one of the best climbers in the world, but believing that he doesn’t want to lead a Grand Tour team. It’s often said absurdly, as if someone so strong in the mountains can even deny the opportunity to try and win a yellow, pink or red jersey.

Is it a fair interpretation? “Ah, I mean,” the American strains in his answer to Cycling Weekly. “I would love to but it comes with…you know, I guess I am pretty honest with myself. Every day I see what it takes to be that guy fighting for a podium or for a win and I look at myself and I know what I am missing to be in that position.”

Which is? “I think, of course, the time trial, the requirement to be at your best day-to-day, all of those things, but also the mental side. You have to be really sharp every day, be ready to suffer through the bad days and measure yourself on the better days. It’s something that is not often realised, the mental side, of being the guy fighting for the podium.

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